By: Jim Moul
Many industries have opportunities to sell their goods or services to older consumers—the motorcoach travel and tourism industry is no exception. Seniors are ready and willing to travel and experience new things now more than ever, and motorcoach and tour operators can capitalize on the trend. Here are a few tips to market your business to older customers, potentially expanding your services into a very lucrative market segment.
This is true when marketing your service to any customer, but it’s particularly easy to fall into stereotypes when it comes to senior clientele. Don’t market your services in a way that makes sweeping assumptions about the older generation—seniors don’t want to be perceived as weak, out of touch, or technologically impaired. Don’t assume that all older customers are retired. Be careful with verbiage and phrasing; many older customers don’t like the term “elderly,” and prefer “senior” or “older adults” instead. In your marketing materials, try highlighting the benefits of your tour services for older customers, such as opportunities for enhanced independence and activities that promote health and wellness, rather than focusing on limitations or conditions that may apply based on a customer’s age.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that senior customers can’t be marketed to online. The truth is, a huge portion of seniors are completely computer-literate and regularly visit websites, check email, and engage on social media platforms. Use this to your advantage. Make online marketing content simple and to the point, and don’t hide the details in fine print. A frequently asked questions section on your website is a great choice for all customers, seniors included.
While many seniors shop online, traditional advertising outlets are still very effective when targeting this age group. Newspapers and print magazines—particularly magazines targeted to the older generation—are great places to advertise your tour services. Traditional mail advertisements, perhaps coupons or flyers, can also work to great effect. Television and radio ads are good choices as well, as the senior demographic consistently makes up a sizeable portion of watchers and listeners.
Seniors are healthier, more active, and more open to unique travel experiences than at any time in the past, and many of them have money to spend. If you aren’t already tailoring your business’s marketing efforts to focus on this age group, it’s time to make some adjustments.
Jim Moul is a freelance writer based on the East Coast.